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Historical Context - Builders - Financing


Fulbert de Chartres, a close friend of Pope Sylvester did everything in his power to develop the cult around Mary.

He has been influenced by Bernard de Clairvaux, who eventually became Saint Bernard. A saint who must be commanded for his action to support Celticism and mainly for the creation of the Order of the Temple

Between the 3rd and the 5th crusades, Christianity knows a definite success. Cathedrals are built everywhere, like blossom to the Glory of Mary. (Notre-Dame, Our Lady)

3 days after the great fire of June 10th 1194, the veil of the Blessed Mary is recovered. Miracle ! The reconstruction of the Cathedral of Chartres started right away and was finished for the main part, in 1223, less than 26 years latter.

Keep in mind that at the same time, Wolfram von Eschenbach rewrite in his « Parzival », the Arthurian Romance and the Legend of the Graal, by Chrétien de Troyes in 1180.

The faith is so important that the necessary money is arriving from all over the world, sent by believers, clergy, Kings and princes, pilgrims, merchants and more than anything else by the Craft Corporations….without mentioning the Knight Templar.

A local history tells that the King of Norway, whose warriors were sent regularly to sack the city of Chartres, sent his participation, probably as an investment for his future benefits

The builders, mainly members of the Craft under Master James, were used to carve their work with special marks on every finished piece. This mark was engraved on the hidden sides.

5 branches star, oak leaf or goose footprints, symbolically representing the Tree of Life, its roots in the sky, all those marks enabled the Craft man to get paid for his work.

We know that hundreds of voluntaries were working every day on the working site and we also have an idea of the number of professionals : 

  • 150 stone cutters, using the stones from Berchères-les-Pierres for the pavement and fabric, were outside.

  • 150 carpenters, masons and free-masons, skilled stone workers were inside. The stones for the statues were made of a special quality coming from Chantilly near Paris for the front ones and from Vernon-sur-Eure for the North and South Portals ones.

  • 100 specialists were managing the craft-men under the direction of a Master Mason or Carpenter, foreman but prime contractor, acting as architect and taking his general directions from the Bishop or his representative.


Copyright © 1999 Gérald Béhuret 

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